Workshop "the (co-)evolution of genes, languages, and music from data analyses to theoretical models"

Last update: 08 July, 2018

Summary of the program

Date: Tuesday 17 July, 2018

time: 1pm to 6pm

Place: meeting room at 3rd floor, Kihara Institute for Biological Research (KIBR), Yokohama City University (Yokohama, Japan)

It aims to clarify the evolution of languages/music and similarities/differences from biological evolution through quantitative datasets. We provide three sessions presenting 1. dispersals of languages (and music) relating to migration histories from genetics side, 2. linguistic and musicological studies, and 3. theoretical modelings of cultural and linguistic evolution. Then, we will have a discussion about what we can learn about the evolution of languages and music through the different types of the datasets.

Please register from the following link.

Registration fee: Free

This program is financially aided by URPP Evolution in Action, University of Zurich & "Evolinguistics" (新学術領域「共創言語進化」) MEXT Grand-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, Japan .


  • 20min talk + 10min discussion, for each speaker


13:00-13:05 Kentaro Shimizu (University of Zurich, YCU)

Session #1: Co-evolution of genes, language and music from genetics side

Chair: Hiroki Oota (Kitasato University)

13:05-13:40 Hiromi Matsumae (Tokai University)

"Understanding a human history using genome, language and musical data"

13:40-13:50 break

13:50-14:20 Chiara Barbieri (University of Zurich)

"Matches and mismatches between genes and languages: a case study from South America"

14:20-14:50 Mario Vicente (Uppsala University)

"Genetic affinities among southern African hunter-gatherers and the impact of admixing farming and pastoralist populations"

14:50-15:05 break

Session #2: Case studies in Linguistics and Musicology

Chair: Hiromi Matsumae (Tokai University)

15:05-15:35 Kouji Kawahara (Nagoya University of Foreign Studies)

"Biological and Cultural Evolution of Language"

15:35-16:05 Patrick E. Savage (Keio University)

"Quantifying musical similarity"

16:05-16:20 break

Session #3: Modeling evolution of language and culture

Chair: Kentaro K Shimizu (University of Zurich & Yokohama City University)

16:20-16:50 Takashi Hashimoto (JAIST)

"From language change to evolution and origins of language: A case study with constructive simulation of grammaticalization"

16:50-17:20 Yasuo Ihara (University of Tokyo)

"Cultural phylogeny and diffusion"

17:20-17:35 break

Session #4: Discussion

17:35-18:20 discussion

For participants

  • There is no cafeteria or shop on the campus. There is only one convenience store around Maioka Station.
  • You also can bring lunch boxes. The refresh room at 2nd floor is open for everyone.

For the participants from abroad

  • Monday 16th July is a public holiday in Japan.


Hiromi Matsumae (Tokai University School of Medicine),

Kentaro Shimizu (University of Zurich & Yokohama City University)